East Germany: The Ulbricht Jugend

By the flickering light of hundreds of torches held aloft at East Berlin's Socialist Memorial, some 2,000 young East Germans chanted the oath in unison.

"In the light of the holy flame," they cried, "true to the legacy of the best sons and daughters of our people, we pledge to prepare ourselves well through premilitary training and to be courageous, disciplined soldiers of tomorrow, loyal to our socialist fatherland."

The ceremonies, so reminiscent of the dark rites of the Hitler Jugend, marked the end of a busy season for the Society for Sport and Technology (Gesellschaft f$#252;r Sport und Technik). All...